The Frugalwoods posted this post about how they put any learning off until the kid wants it.
Our philosophy is exactly the opposite. Introduce stuff super early and don’t stress about it. Yes it takes longer and there are more mistakes, but there’s no pressure. Plus the ability to understand that mistakes are part of learning is a really important skill.
We’ve done this with everything from potty training to reading to math to money. Maybe not music which we started at ages 6 and 5 respectively. And not organized sports which we didn’t start at all. There’s only so much effort fundamentally lazy parents can make.
The thought of having to deal with poo on bottoms until age 3 is horrifying to me. I think also with potty training, the Frugalwoods don’t realize that kids have to learn to wear a diaper. They don’t come hard-wired with the desire to soil themselves. That’s also a training thing, just in our society (as with many societies) we find it convenient to capture it rather than us learning to read their signals or training them to micturate to a signal (which are other common methods of dealing with non-mobile babies needing to potty). So… actually they did teach the kid very early on. If they were really into waiting for kids’ interests, they would be using the understand the baby’s signals version of pottying and diapers would never have been involved in the first place, since the kids never indicated an interest in them.
But I digress.
Money is a construct. Kids don’t know what money is unless you let them know. They can’t show interest in it until they’ve been exposed to it enough to know it exists. And exposure is a form of learning.
Reading to your kids is teaching them to read. You can increase its effectiveness by putting your fingers under the words you’re reading as you read them. With a small child in your lap, this is a fun bonding activity. Our kids also loved the leapfrog videos that had songs about the sounds the letters made and could sing them long before they could mentally do phonics. Once that clicked, they were able to start reading.
There’s something joyous in learning, especially with young kids. There’s so much they don’t know and will never know unless they are introduced to it. You don’t have to force kids to learn things, but you do have to introduce the concepts. With potty training that means introducing potties and having diaper-free time so they make the connection about using the restroom. With reading that means reading and helping them connect the sounds to the words. With math that means counting and adding. With money that means involving them in the process and teaching about dollars and cents (and eventually providing an allowance).
I’m sure the Frugalwoods kids will be fine. DC1 is taking psychology this semester and they’re on the chapter about how much parents have to do with children’s successes or failures, and if a parent is not abusive or super neglectful (and also controlling for $$ resources, which do have a lot to do with “success”), the answer is not much. DC1 informed us we were good parents. But the bar to good parenting is pretty low. (DC1 also claimed to never have been a broody, resentful teenager… it seems like only DH and I remember that short phase. DC2 claims not to.)
I do not have a discussion question for Grumpy Nation.